A first-time mother, who thought the aches and cramps she felt after giving birth to twins were normal, discovered her pains were actually a symptom of cancer.
Now, Sandra Bilotta, 34, isn't sure how long she has to live.
After giving birth to twins in 2013, Bilotta experienced leg cramps, backaches and tiredness. She went to a doctor, assuming her symptoms were normal reactions to childbirth and new lifestyle changes, like pushing her newborns in strollers.
"I gave birth in the June and by the October my back pain had become really bad and I was exhausted," she said. "But because I was getting up to do night feeds and looking after the girls, yet again I just thought this was normal for motherhood."
But her doctor had a different diagnosis, according to The Daily Mirror.
Bilotta, a former special education teacher, learned she had acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive and terminal cancer, according to the Sun.
"I was given a blood test and when I got the cancer diagnosis I was so shocked," said Bilotta. "I know it sounds crazy but I was also relieved -- all I had ever wanted was to be a mum, so it was so great to know that I wasn't failing my children."
Bilotta, who is from America but has lived in the U.K. for the last decade, has tried to stay strong for her wife, Amanda Plumb, and the couple's twins, Lily Grace and Emma Rose, now 3-years-old.
Bilotta has battled leukemia for nearly three years. During that time, she received a bone marrow transplant from an American donor, which gave her another two and a half years of life.
Bilotta said since receiving her diagnosis, she has been in contact with the producers at Ellen Degeneres' show, and wants to meet or Skype with Degeneres, one of Bilotta's heroes.
"Meeting Ellen or talking to her is my way of celebrating my life and it shows my girls that no matter what they should dream big, and who knows what can happen," she said. "I want my legacy and message to be to cherish each day, hug like you mean it, love fully and openly and to just keep swimming."